γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

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AdamKvanta
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by AdamKvanta »

I'll try to summarize the available sources of the official photographs. As far as I know, there are only two people who took photographs of the Letter to Theodore manuscript. Morton Smith took black-and-white photographs in 1958 and librarian Kallistos Dourvas took colored photographs in 1977.

Black-and-white photographs
The first time these photos were published by Morton Smith was in 1973 in Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark, page 449, 451, 453.

Then, in 1974, the first page was again published by Morton Smith in The Secret Gospel, page 38. It can be seen here: https://archive.org/details/secretgospe ... 8/mode/2up

Recently (2023), these photos were republished by Brent C. Landau and Geoffrey S. Smith in The Secret Gospel of Mark, page 23, 24. The book is also available as an e-book. The source of their photographs is stated as "Morton Smith Papers, box 1/7, and Saul Liebermann Papers, box 1/11. Image courtesy of the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary."

They also wrote an online article https://notevenpast.org/did-mark-the-ev ... l-of-mark/. This article contains a photograph of the first page in good quality. Even better quality has the link to this article from the Wikipedia article Secret Gospel of Mark: https://notevenpast.org/wp-content/uplo ... 8x1489.jpg

Color photographs
The first time these color photographs were published was in the article Secret Mark by Charles W. Hedrick with Nikolaos Olympiou in The Fourth R, Volume 13,5 (Sept/Oct 2000). The article is available here: https://www.westarinstitute.org/editorials/secret-mark and the archived version here: https://web.archive.org/web/20120625082 ... retmk.html.

The archived version contains also the actual photos but in poor quality:
https://web.archive.org/web/20120527164 ... etmk1.html
https://web.archive.org/web/20120527164 ... etmk2.html
https://web.archive.org/web/20120527163 ... etmk3.html

The better quality of the first page can be seen here: https://archaeonewsnet.com/the-secret-g ... fake-says/. It's an article about the doctoral dissertation of Timo Paananen, who probably obtained high-quality photographs from Charles Hedrick.

I don't know about high-quality color photographs of the second and the third page.
Last edited by AdamKvanta on Fri Mar 22, 2024 4:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
andrewcriddle
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by andrewcriddle »

Ken Olson wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2024 11:07 am
StephenGoranson wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2024 10:38 am Why would either reading greatly change the overall facts? In other words, has the significance been, somewhere, exaggerated?
I don't know where Peter was going with the plural reading, but it *could* be taken as referring to the Carpocratian love feast described by Clement in Stromateis 3.2.9:

These then are the doctrines of the excellent Carpocratians. These, so they say, and certain other enthusiasts for the same wickednesses, gather together for feasts (I would not call their meeting an Agape), men and women together. After they have sated their appetites (" on repletion Cypris, the goddess of love, enters,"21 as it is said), then they overturn the lamps and so extinguish the light that the shame of their adulterous "righteousness" is hidden, and they have intercourse where they will and with whom they will.23 After they have practiced community of use in this love-feast, they demand by daylight of whatever women they wish that they will be obedient to the law of Carpocrates-it would not be right to say the law of God. Such, I think, is the law that Carpocrates must have given for the copulations of dogs and pigs and goats. He seems to me to have misunderstood the saying of Plato in the Republic24 that the women of all are to be common. Plato means that the unmarried are common for those who wish to ask them, as also the theatre is open to the public for all who wish to see, but that when each one has chosen his wife, then the married woman is no longer common to all.

https://www.earlychristianwritings.com/ ... glish.html

The singular reading would suggest a one-on-one encounter of Jesus and the youth and that is, as far as I know, otherwise unknown in the ancient world and therefore striking.

The plural reading could refer to a Carpocratian love feast, which is attested (whether it is true or not is another thing) by Clement.

Best,

Ken
One possible issue is that the singular reading (as a phrase) is attested from other ancient Greek works, whereas the plural reading (as a phrase) seems to be otherwise unknown in the ancient world.

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Ken Olson
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by Ken Olson »

I have heard back from Roger Viklund who has sent me a high quality image of the third page of the Letter to Theodore. However, he also suggested I might need Charles W. Hedrick's permission to post the image of the full page. I have written to Professor Hedrick and am waiting to hear back.

Roger Viklund also pointed out Tselikas' error in reading γυμνῷ for γυμνοῦ in Tselikas line 62 / AKMA line III 8 (as noted in Paananen and Viklund and AKMA).
GYMNW for GYMNOU.png
GYMNW for GYMNOU.png (137.18 KiB) Viewed 360 times
It seems clear that there are two letters following the Nu, with the second going above the line.

Best,

Ken
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Ken Olson
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by Ken Olson »

Here is the better quality image of the third page of the Letter to Theodore, with thanks to Roger Viklund and Charles W. Hedrick.
thumbnail_Theodore_03_1200_dpi.jpg
thumbnail_Theodore_03_1200_dpi.jpg (1.04 MiB) Viewed 343 times
Best,

Ken
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Ken Olson
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by Ken Olson »

I realize this may be getting repetitive, but here are my (slightly revised) observations with the new image:
From top to bottom, with Tselikas' line numbers:
Letter to Theodore p. 3 red.jpeg
Letter to Theodore p. 3 red.jpeg (1.34 MiB) Viewed 325 times
56 εὐθὺς the accent is written over the final sigma, not the upsilon that precedes it.

58 τῆς cf. τῆς in line 63 below; you can enlarge this image to get a better look at the second and third letters.

60 πλούσιος the final sigma has a slightly greater bend than the final letter in γυμνὸς (or γυμνοὶ) in line 67, but it resembles it a good deal - more so than does the earlier iota in the same word.

62 περιβεβλημένος the omicron goes up above the line, and the final sigma is sideways, but the stroke looks very much like the final letter in γυμνὸς (or γυμνοὶ) in line 67, sort of like a comma.

64 τῆς IF we read this as three separate letters (cf. τὴν in the line above), the final sigma seems to be written as a single stroke with no perceptible bend (or reversal in direction) in the middle

67 γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ - There appears to be (perhaps I should say there may be) a slight bend in the final letter that was less perceptible in the earlier image

I think the final letter following γυμνὸ- is a sigma. At least, I see no clear evidence it's a iota. Your mileage may vary.

Best,

Ken
AdamKvanta
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by AdamKvanta »

andrewcriddle wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 4:30 am One possible issue is that the singular reading (as a phrase) is attested from other ancient Greek works, whereas the plural reading (as a phrase) seems to be otherwise unknown in the ancient world.
Good point. And even if we can somehow prove that the word in this Mar Saba manuscript is γυμνοὶ, how can we prove that γυμνοὶ was written in the original manuscript (by Clement presumably)? It seems this intrinsic similarity between γυμνὸς and γυμνοὶ could confuse any copyist. And I think it's reasonable to assume there was more than one copyist from Clement to the Mar Saba manuscript.
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by AdamKvanta »

Ken Olson wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2024 11:07 am The singular reading would suggest a one-on-one encounter of Jesus and the youth and that is, as far as I know, otherwise unknown in the ancient world and therefore striking.
So the suggested one-on-one encounter of Jesus (presumably) and the youth (beloved) in the Second Apocalypse of James doesn't count? What is the reason for ruling this interpretation out?
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by Ken Olson »

AdamKvanta wrote: Sat Mar 23, 2024 12:21 pm
Ken Olson wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2024 11:07 am The singular reading would suggest a one-on-one encounter of Jesus and the youth and that is, as far as I know, otherwise unknown in the ancient world and therefore striking.
So the suggested one-on-one encounter of Jesus (presumably) and the youth (beloved) in the Second Apocalypse of James doesn't count? What is the reason for ruling this interpretation out?
If you want to argue that it is, could you expand on what you wrote earlier?

Best,

Ken
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by AdamKvanta »

Ken Olson wrote: Sat Mar 23, 2024 12:39 pm If you want to argue that it is, could you expand on what you wrote earlier?
Sure, so I argue that there might be some connection between γυμνὸς γυμνῷ and this section of Second Apocalypse of James:
...
For just as you are first having clothed yourself,
you are also the first who will strip himself,
and you shall become as you were before you were stripped.
"

"And he kissed my mouth. He took hold of me, saying, "My beloved! Behold, I shall reveal to you those things that (neither) the heavens nor their archons have known. Behold, I shall reveal to you those things that he did not know, he who boasted, "[...] there is no other except me. Am I not alive? Because I am a father, do I not have power for everything?" Behold, I shall reveal to you everything, my beloved. Understand and know them, that you may come forth just as I am. Behold, I shall reveal to you him who is hidden. But now, stretch out your hand. Now, take hold of me."

"And then I stretched out my hands and I did not find him as I thought (he would be). But afterward I heard him saying, "Understand and take hold of me." Then I understood, and I was afraid. And I was exceedingly joyful.
...
- It seems to me that the highlighted sections could be described as sexual. Especially, right after the talk about stripping, the text continues with "And he kissed my mouth".
- I think the name "beloved" evokes the Lazarus-type figure and "the youth whom Jesus loved" from the Mar Saba letter.
- I also wonder if "beloved" could be connected to the pederastic concept of the eromenos (ἐρώμενος).
- Jesus is not explicitly stated as the counterpart to the "beloved" but I think, he is the strongest candidate for obvious reasons ("... do I not have power for everything?").
- The middle part, the talk about the heavens and archons, could be a later gnostic interpolation.
- I think, the last part ending with "... I was afraid. And I was exceedingly joyful" fits the sexual narrative, too.
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by Ken Olson »

AdamKvanta wrote: Sat Mar 23, 2024 10:49 pm
Ken Olson wrote: Sat Mar 23, 2024 12:39 pm If you want to argue that it is, could you expand on what you wrote earlier?
Sure, so I argue that there might be some connection between γυμνὸς γυμνῷ and this section of Second Apocalypse of James:
...
For just as you are first having clothed yourself,
you are also the first who will strip himself,
and you shall become as you were before you were stripped.
"

"And he kissed my mouth. He took hold of me, saying, "My beloved! Behold, I shall reveal to you those things that (neither) the heavens nor their archons have known. Behold, I shall reveal to you those things that he did not know, he who boasted, "[...] there is no other except me. Am I not alive? Because I am a father, do I not have power for everything?" Behold, I shall reveal to you everything, my beloved. Understand and know them, that you may come forth just as I am. Behold, I shall reveal to you him who is hidden. But now, stretch out your hand. Now, take hold of me."

"And then I stretched out my hands and I did not find him as I thought (he would be). But afterward I heard him saying, "Understand and take hold of me." Then I understood, and I was afraid. And I was exceedingly joyful.
...
- It seems to me that the highlighted sections could be described as sexual. Especially, right after the talk about stripping, the text continues with "And he kissed my mouth".
- I think the name "beloved" evokes the Lazarus-type figure and "the youth whom Jesus loved" from the Mar Saba letter.
- I also wonder if "beloved" could be connected to the pederastic concept of the eromenos (ἐρώμενος).
- Jesus is not explicitly stated as the counterpart to the "beloved" but I think, he is the strongest candidate for obvious reasons ("... do I not have power for everything?").
- The middle part, the talk about the heavens and archons, could be a later gnostic interpolation.
- I think, the last part ending with "... I was afraid. And I was exceedingly joyful" fits the sexual narrative, too.
Have you read the OP in Peter Kirby's new thread on the Second Apocalypse of James?

viewtopic.php?p=168968#p168968

I am dubious about positing a later gnostic interpolation into the Second Apocalypse as though that were foreign to the rest of the text.

The text has a brief introduction to set the stage for James' recounting a revelation he had received to the people, followed by James' account of the revelation he received from (unnamed) Jesus, who is a heavenly or spiritual being who has existed in different states. James' revelation is rejected by the people who decide to kill James, and then we have James' (presumably) final prayer.

The text is ambiguous, but it seems to me that neither James nor Jesus were in what what we might call a normal earthly state of embodied existence as James received the revelation and that the talk of being clothed and then stripped and naked is a metaphor used to describe different states of the existence of the self.

Best,

Ken
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